Hard work for British skaters is paying off with a total of 12 athletes travelling to Kaunas, Lithuania. On the list of British athletes are three senior Ice Dance couples including the Silver European medallists from last season; Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson who will be fighting for a medal once more with their ‘Rocky’ inspired Free Dance.
The 2023 silver medallists commented: “We are so excited to perform in Lithuania for the first time. It is always a huge honour to compete at the European Championships, and an opportunity that brings us such joy and drive. We have been enhancing our programmes over the past few weeks and are looking forward to presenting our work and growth next week!”
Competing alongside Lilah & Lewis in Ice Dance are Phebe Bekker & James Hernandez, who are coached by Nick and Penny Buckland, previous British Ice Dancing Duo. The couple hope to use the momentum from their most recent competition the Golden Spin in Zagreb, where they scored a seasons and personal best of 169.74. Layla Karnes & Liam Carr will be the third couple to represent Britain at this year's European Championships skating their rhythm dance to an Annie Lennox mash-up hoping to skate clean and enjoy their first major championships.
Along with a jam-packed Ice Dance roster, British Ice Skating are also sending two figure skating Pairs to compete. Coming off of a 10th place finish at last season's European Championships, Anastasia Vaipan-Law & Luke Digby are hoping to cement their place as one of Europe's best Pairs teams, they commented: “We are looking forward to these European Championships and building on our season so far. After finishing 10th last season and having a successful World Championships, we are hoping to cement our place in the top 10 of an even bigger field at this year’s event. Our preparations have been going well so most importantly, we are going to go have fun and enjoy our performances.”
The other Pairs team, Lydia Smart & Harry Mattick are also hoping to place well after making their World Championship debut last season. Rolling off the back of two new personal bests they received this season at the Warsaw Cup, the pair are set to ignite the ice arena with their brilliant short program to I Can't Go On Without You by Kaleo.
Representing Great Britain in the single disciplines are Nina Povey and Edward Appleby. Nina is debuting at her first major international championships with her beautifully choreographed Short Program to Lady Gaga. Edward Appleby is competing in his first senior championship representing Britain in the Men's category, commenting:
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Great Britain once again. This will be my first senior championship; I’m really looking forward to being part of the team and giving it my best!”
You can watch all the action on Eurosport or the ISU Youtube Channel (geo-blocking may apply) starting from Wednesday the 10th of January as well as checking in on British Ice Skating socials for up-to-date schedules and scores.
Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson representing Great Britain at Skate Canada, photo used with kind permissions ISU International Skating Union.